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Performance Tuning for Linux Servers Hardcover – 27 May 2005

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

  • Proven techniques for optimizing web, file, print, database, and application servers

  • Practical introductions to open source performance management tools

  • Easy-to-understand examples based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

An indispensable guide to maximizing Linux system and application performance

From Wall Street to Hollywood, Linux runs many of the world's most businesscritical systems. Linux performance now impacts the entire enterprise. In Performance Tuning for Linux Servers, a team of IBM's most-experienced Linux performance specialists shows you how to find bottlenecks, measure performance, and identify effective optimizations.

This book doesn't just cover kernel tuning: it shows how to maximize the end-to-end performance of real-world applications and databases running on Linux. Throughout, the authors present realistic examples based on today's most popular enterprise Linux platforms, Intel-based Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. These examples are designed for simplicity, clarity, and easy adaptation to any contemporary Linux environment. You'll discover how to

  • Install and configure Linux for maximum performance from the outset

  • Evaluate and choose the right hardware architecture for your Linux environment

  • Understand Linux kernels 2.4 through 2.6: components, performance issues, and optimization opportunities

  • Master core Linux performance tuning principles and strategies

  • Utilize free, open source tools for measurement, monitoring, system tracing, and benchmarking

  • Interpret performance data to analyze your Linux server's real-world behavior

  • Optimize Linux system schedulers, memory, I/O, file systems, and networking

  • Tune web, file, database, and application servers running commercial workloads

  • Predict the impact of changes in tuning parameters or configurations

  • Tune Linux code: optimize design, timing, sockets, threads, synchronization, and more

  • Architect for maximum performance: SMP scaling, clustering, and topology

  • Integrate kernel and application tuning in end-to-end system optimization projects

Whether you're an administrator, developer, integrator, or consultant, Performance Tuning for Linux Serverswill help you maximize the performance and value of every Linux system and application you run.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Sandra K. Johnson, Ph.D., is a Senior Technical Staff Member and the Chief Technology Officer of Global Small and Medium Business, IBM Systems and Technology Group. She was formerly the Linux Performance Architect with the IBM Linux Technology Center in Austin, Texas. She has more than sixteen years of experience in designing and evaluating the performance of operating systems and applications. Johnson is a member of the IBM Academy of Technology.

Gerrit Huizenga is a software engineer and architect for Linux Base Technologies in the IBM Linux Technology Center in Beaverton, Oregon. Gerrit has been architecting, designing, and implementing operating system capabilities with a focus on performance, scalability, standards, and security for twenty years. Prior to his work at the IBM Linux Technology Center, Gerrit was the Chief Technologist for Operating Systems at Sequent Computer Systems, Inc.

Badari Pulavarty is a senior engineer at the IBM Linux Technology Center in Beaverton, Oregon. He has fifteen years of experience developing UNIX operating systems.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Somewhere between "Save your money" and "meh" 1 April 2013
By Joel A. Davis - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll just echo some of the previous reviews: This book is incredibly hit or miss. It's not just how random each section is (you can almost tell who was responsible for writing each section/chapter, the differences are so stark). Here's a laundry list:

1) They rarely go into that much detail on any one topic. You don't get much discussion on what practical effect the tunables have, they just basically give you a short description of the tunable and suggest what you'd use it for. It would be helpful if you describe WHY it's advisable to do what they're suggesting, instead of just saying it and letting us judge between that and what they said the tunable control's description.
2) Some information in it is just plain wrong. For example: despite the previous section (understandably) describing the CFS scheduler (on page 189), The section about CPU scheduler tunables (on page 192) they give you a long list of tunables for the 2.4 kernel's scheduler and nothing for CFS. This is also an example of how much quality/tone variation there is in such a short space. Why they're even touching on 2.4's scheduler in a book that first came out in 2005 (two years after 2.6's first stable release) I don't really know.
3) Terms are often used before they're defined and sometimes not even defined. This also goes for the graphs and tables, they'll put some sort of graphic out there without telling you what it's for and then you'll stumble on something a page and a half later that talks about it or you'll remember that they were talking about something similar a few pages back.
4) Since there's no updated version the software being referenced is pretty old. There's still a great deal of applicable knowledge, but you're kind of walking through a minefield for stuff you're still going to care about.
5) Kind of similar to the first point but: this seems to be written by technical people rather than people who have much experience training others.

There are valuable parts of this book, though. I got a lot out of the network tuning (which isn't really covered enough in most tuning books).

I would say it may be worth the time to read it, but not the money to buy it and then the time to read it ontop of that. If you have a Safari online subscription, this book is on there and you can browse through it, otherwise you're probably better off buying something else.
13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
A "must-have" for Linux administrators/architects... 12 Jun. 2005
By Thomas Duff - Published on
Format: Hardcover
If you're responsible for Linux servers and you need to keep things running at peak efficiency, you *need* to get this book... Performance Tuning For Linux Servers, edited by Sandra K. Johnson, Ph. D., Gerrit Huizenga, and Badari Pulavarty. It's an excellent blend of theory and practicality.

Chapter List:

Part 1 - Linux Overview: Linux Installation Issues; Kernel Overview; Overview Of Server Architectures

Part 2 - Performance Analysis Tools: System Performance Monitoring; System Trace Tools; Benchmarks As An Aid To Understanding Workload Performance

Part 3 - System Tuning: System Performance Principles And Strategy - A Benchmarking Methodology Case Study; Scheduler Tuning; The Linux Virtual Memory-Performance Implications; I/O Subsystems-Performance Implications; File System Tuning; Network Tuning; Interprocess Communications; Code Tuning

Part 4 - Performance Characterization Of Linux Server Applications: Web Servers; File And Print Servers; Database Servers; Application Servers

Part 5 - Tuning Case Studies: Case Study - Tuning The I/O Schedulers In Linux 2.6; Case Study - File System Tuning; Case Study - Network Performance On Linux; Case Study - Commercial Workload Tuning; Tuning Kernel Parameters; Index

This is one of those rare books that ranks high on many criteria... It's got a lot of theory, the "why" of different features as they relate to performance. It's also packed full of practical material. They tell you how to measure key components in the system and what parameters you can change to affect those areas. When you get done, you've covered every conceivable area that exists in the Linux environment. I particularly liked the blending of measuring/monitoring along with the instructions on how to change performance. The chapter on system performance monitoring tools can be used immediately to see how your system runs. Once you become comfortable using those tools, you can use them to run before and after comparisons of tuning efforts. There's no guesswork involved. Measure, tweak, and remeasure. Repeat as necessary. Same with the benchmarking tools. They will allow you to know without a doubt whether the changes you made work or not.

I'm also impressed with the readability of the book on a couple of different fronts. For one, books like this can be dry as dirt, especially in the areas dealing with theory and architecture. But surprisingly, it really wasn't hard to follow, nor was I getting bored. The other reason the readability is surprising is that the chapters are done by 21 different contributors. When you get different chapters being done by different techies (with varying levels of communication skills), you normally get a very uneven book. Not so here... The editors should be commended for taking material that I'm sure was all over the board and weaving it into a cohesive and coherent volume.

Bottom line... If you run a Linux system and you are responsible for making sure it performs, this is the book you need to have.
Very good book 27 Feb. 2011
By Chris S. Bullock - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like this book since it does give some really good hints at performance tuning Linux boxes. I will say if all your systems are working right is time to buy this book. If it is not do not buy this book
7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I'm going to disagree 10 July 2005
By Anthony Lawrence - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I just can't bring myself to like this. I did find it uneven in spite of the editors obvious attempts at blending. I want to like it - individually the chapters are excellent, but I just have trouble seeing this as a coherent work. For me, it's choppy and the different styles make me uncomfortable.

Perhaps I can see it as a reference book. I could see myself pulling this down and going to a particular chapter for advice on that specific subject. As such, this surely has value, but I just don't care for it as a corpus.
5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing 3 Jan. 2007
By Ling Ho - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because of some of the names involved in this book (both authors and contributors).

However I share the similar thoughts with some other reviewers after spending significant amount of time reading the book. Every chapter seems to start from the beginning. Every authors (of each chapters) try to explain things from scratch. Some jump into deaitls with unexplained term very quickly, and if you are not already familar with kernel sources codes, or have done other researches, you will be lost. Some barely touch the surface, and again if you don't have prior experience, you will be confused and maybe misinformed.

The book is suppose about Performance. But there are a lot of tunings and advice about sizings. If a webserver tells a user it is busy and cannot serve any page, that's a sizing problem, not a performance problem. If a server drop new network request because it has run out of resource (not because it's slow and timed out), it's not a performance problem either.

Performance is also not about benchmarking. I don't see the use of large amount of numbers in the case studies. They may be significantly different when performance using different kernel version, and different hardware. This should not be a technical paper where numbers are important. The Authors should explain why or how something can be done to improve the "performance" and the side effects.

And there are simple mistakes, and typo. Seems like someone collected all these notes and try to edit them. But obviously no one person or a small team of person is good enough to find those mistakes.
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